Monday was great. Tuesday was awful. Wednesday was great. Now Thursday is at least starting out as awful. Such is the state of the stock market this week amid coronavirus fears. After Wednesday's surge, the Dow fell more than 700 points at the open, about 2.6%, per MarketWatch. The benchmark S&P 500 was in similar straits. European stocks also were falling, with the Stoxx 600 index down about 2%. "There is a sense that there is only so much monetary policy can do, given markets have priced that in already," Jonas Goltermann of Capital Economics tells the Wall Street Journal. "Even with all the stimulus measures, those are not going to stop the virus, and until there are signs the rate of infection [is] slowing, we don’t think there will be a sustained rally."
An example of the seesaw week: Asian markets rose Thursday, with major indexes in Shanghai and Hong Kong up about 2%. The volatility comes after the Fed unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate significantly on Tuesday. That would typically please investors, but here's the sentiment of Richard Harris from Port Shelter Investment Management, via CNBC: "You have to wonder why (the Fed’s) acting like this, and you have to wonder especially why they’re using their very, very sparse ammunition up—a 50 basis point cut—very early in a crisis." (Read more stock market stories.)